Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ask a dictator

The latest from my friend Vladimir Putin:

Childrens Playing with Matches

Dearest Styopa,

Spoiled childrens at Google bring attention to updates of Spreadsheet which are adding script feature. Google illustrates new feature with example of expense report:

I am knowing many peoples look at such are thinking, “Why hotel is costing three times airplane ticket?” “Why beverages costing twice food?” “Why amounts divisible by 100?” But I am not accountant. I am President of Russia. I cannot be concerned with such tiny, quibbling details. No, I am wondering why first item is “Fireworks.” Is not even Russia Day! Is curious, yes?

Later I am reading about fire happening at Google London “barbecue.” Fortunately, no one is reported hurt. Perhaps fireman is made ravenous by smell of burning meats, but no one is being hurt.

Even more curious! Google expense report “example” from before fire is showing meats of barbecue, fireworks, and flight to London! Perhaps fire of Google London office is not fault of greasy British beef?

Later I am reading about Google buying giant lens to melt metals and burn foods in parking lot. Fire, as recreational activity!

In Russia we are paying attention to childrens with unhealthy interest in setting fires…. Time to pay attention, America!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memo from Putin

Falling into wrong hands

September 2008. American economy is exploding. Banks are begging for billions of American money.

April 2009. Goldman Sachs of Wall Street is announcing it is making money! Can repay loans! Just kidding about bankruptcy!

How is possible?

Is secret of Wall Street which is called “high-speed trading.” New York Times is describing here, but in brief, is way to execute trade of financial instrument in tiny fraction of second using computer. By executing such trade, billions of dollars U.S. are made. (Is like scheme in famous movie of Russian hacker who is stealing fraction of ruble from many bank accounts.)

Ordinary investor is not having access to such trade. Such software codes are secrets, developed by talented programmers of Russia, for American firms such as Goldman Sachs.

Now America is striking back by arresting talented programmers of Russia who are writing such codes. Latest case is Sergey Aleynikov, who is being arrested for crime of leaving Goldman Sachs. (Example of American freedom?) Mr. Aleynikov is being prosecuted with claim of having such codes which could be used to “unfairly manipulate” price of stock.

I am certain firms of American Wall Street are never “unfairly manipulating” anything!

American prosecutor is claiming such codes to make billions must not fall into “wrong hands.” Whose hands are these, I am wondering? Russian hands? Hands which are creating such codes?

Time to wake up, Americans. Is not talented Russian programmers who should be put in jails.

I Make Joke

“Put in Jails” – is joke in English?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update from Putin

Clarification on “Good Advices”


Previous post of blog is causing concern among political advisors. Intent was not to threaten unilateral military action of Russian Federation against Palm Inc., subsidiaries or employees. Unlike some countries, Russia does not believe in military adventurism.

Is useful to learn lessons from past dealings with defectors, this is what I am saying. In Russia we are having idiom of “whip and cake.” Sometimes you are motivating peoples with cake, sometimes you are motivating peoples with whip. (I do not know of English idiom.) America is not motivating with whip. America is wanting nothing but cake. Cake all the time. Americans do not think of using whip in managing peoples. They are thinking “Sun Tzu” is tiny purebred dog. They are thinking “Machiavelli” is new drink on Starbucks menu. They are wanting always to be loved and never to be feared.

So Palm is taking employees from Apple because Palm is offering more cake? So Apple must get employees back by offering even more cake to spoiled childrens. Then Palm must take employees back by offering even greater amount of cake, and so on. Where does such madness end? It is arms race of “Mutual Assured Gratification.”

That is why companies such as Google are having offices which are giant playgrounds for spoiled childrens. “Oh no, chef is making my drink of hot milk with less than perfect foam! Oh no, I cannot put water slide inside personal jumbo jet! Now I am wanting cake with tiny sprinkles of color!”

Great companies such as Apple must dare to be loved and feared. Apple must not hesitate to crush enemies, to punish traitors.

Memo from Putin

Good Advices: How Apple Must Crush Defectors in Palm

Styopa —

My country is having much knowledge of defectors. We are having beautiful word in Russian for such peoples, Nevozvrashchentsy, a word of much subtlety which has no English equivalent. It has meaning of, “Peoples who take vacations from which they are not returning.”

In Soviet era, such peoples were subject to very short legal process, trial of which is distilled to single sentence: “You are now having permission to leave permanently.” Such a sentence usually punctuated not by period or exclamation point, but by single shot from pistol of Makarov.

End of problem.

Sometimes solution is more complicated. For example, case of traitor to Motherland, Viktor Belenko. Belenko is pilot of Mikoyan-Gurevich 25, aircraft which is like iPhone of Soviet era: it was not first jet fighter, but was years ahead of anything which competitors are capable of building. Is much faster. Is more maneuverable. Is having radar which is seeing farther.

In 2009, world record for altitude of aircraft is still held by this machine.

Like iPhone, first attempts at copying are crude. America produces lump of metal, which they are calling “MiG-25 killer,” but this crude copy cannot even match speed. Is ugly brick, like T-Mobile G1, or brown Zune. No one in world is buying such a copy, except for Shah of Iran who is placing large order, for reasons I hope are transparently obvious. World is wanting MiG-25.

Then traitor Belenko is flying MiG-25 to Japan, where beautiful design is torn apart by American CIA, American Air Force, Grumman, Lockheed, like beautiful virgin who is sexually molested by filthy hands of sweaty bellicose pigs. They are taking Mikoyan-Gurevich apart. Once they have had their way with her, they are sending her in many pieces back to Moscow, in mail which is asking recipient to pay postage.

Does not Apple feel same rage, as iPhone is flown to headquarters of Palm by former Apple employees? As beautiful iPhone is taken apart, her secrets laid bare? And then they are making cheap copies of her, like woman in commercial of Palm Pre, who is sickly, anemic version of robust, hammer-throwing revolutionary in Apple advertisement.

American reward for traitor Belenko is substantial at first – trust fund, consulting fee, home in California, and so on. And then, one day Belenko is having small car accident, details of which are unclear, but involve sudden loss of steering and loss of brake and fire of curious intensity which is normally associated with white phosphorous not gasoline. (Fortunately Americans are having good dental records for identification.)

Poor Belenko! You are knowing how to fly at Mach 3, but not so good driving car!

Of course I do not suggest that such things happen to all traitors, such as former employees of Apple who are now having trust fund, consulting fee, home in California thanks to Palm. It is an undeniable fact, however, that statistically, such things happen from time to time. They cannot be avoided.

Ask a dictator

One of the best things about being a world-famous billionaire and business visionary is the people you get to meet. Perhaps the strangest connection I’ve developed is my friendship — dare I call it that? I do — with Vladimir Putin of Russia. (The picture above is a postcard he sent me during his recent vacation. Cool, right?) We were introduced over email a few years ago by our mutual friend Fidel Castro and very quickly came to realize that despite our very different backgrounds we have a great deal in common. At the time he was running bootlegged Windows and having all sorts of problems. I sent over a bunch of Macs and iPods, and he wrote back to say thanks, and then we started trading email, and the next thing you know we’re iChatting like three times a day. Total mancrush in both directions. Better yet, Putin has had lots of ideas for me about how to run Apple, and I’ve come to rely on him quite a bit. I think of him as a kind of shadow board member, someone I can depend on to tell me the truth — as opposed to those other bootlickers, like Bill Campbell, who just tell me what they think I want to hear. Putin and I are now thinking about publishing a book on management, sort of our version of “Winning” by Jack and Suzy Welch, though we can’t decide which of us will be Jack and which will be Suzy. But whatever. We’ll work it out.

All this is a long way of saying that I’ve asked Vladimir Vladimirovich(I also call him “Vova,” but I don’t recommend you try it) if I could share some of the memos he’s sent me. Some is just business advice. Some get more personal. But it’s all keenly interesting, if only for the opportunity to see one of the world’s best minds in action. I hope you find it as useful as I do. Also, Putin says if you have any questions for him, he’d be glad to try to answer them. So send them along.